Sending a sales email is one of the most common ways marketers use to promote any product or service. Using emails for sales is very versatile: you can play with the form and content to make it more attractive and appealing, include some polls or surveys to study public opinion on how to improve a product or a certain service you’re offering. Here’s the thing: there’s a growing tendency of people not replying to such emails. There are various reasons for not replying to marketing emails: people are either not interested in the product, or may consider such emails spam, or simply don’t care about it at all. It might sometimes seem rude and offensive, but for marketers, this has become a usual thing. They say that not replying to an email also sends a message that calls for further improvement of an email template, changes in content or makes you rethink the whole idea. After all, you don’t want to irritate your potential customers with loads of information about product or service you’re providing. This might cost you your whole business! But wait a minute: if emailing potential customers is still one of the most effective marketing strategies, but people often get irritated because of them, how can you do it in a more effective way? Let’s take a look at major dos and don’ts of writing marketing emails: 1. Do Personalize For sure, personalization in marketing is very important. With the focus on the content these days, it has become very hard to impress potential customers, it seems that they’ve seen it all. Personalization in advertising and marketing creates an atmosphere of exclusiveness for each person receiving a marketing email. In the age of globalization and total accessibility, people have started feeling that they’ve lost a sense of identity, that is why personalizing your content and adjusting it to the interests and needs of each particular person can make your marketing emails more successful. Here’s a good example of personalization. An online healthy food shop offers to complete a questionnaire to define what the user needs to know to improve their health. 2. Don’t Over-Personalize Don’t go overboard, however. While working on personalizing the content of the marketing emails, make sure that it matches the desired outcomes. Sometimes, personalizing a marketing email involves simple steps, something like: Asking the right questions: a wedding specialist website called Paper Style had a problem with people ignoring their emails. So, to increase sales, they’ve turned to personalization, and namely, asking the right questions (a method of customer behavior analysis). They’ve simply asked their customers what they were planning for: their wedding or their friend’s wedding. People answered, and then received an email containing offers and services they needed for the occasion they were preparing for. As a result, the website has got 244% increase in open rate, 161% increase in click-through and 330% increase revenue per mailing. The lesson is, ask questions that match both your interests and the interests of your target audience. Paying attention to location and time: Bustedtees, a company that sales customized T-shirts has made the common mistake by sending emails to all their potential and existing customers regardless of time and location. The location and time they used as default was Los Angeles, and the email suited only their American audience. The company soon recognized that this wasn’t working, as their customers from other parts of the world received their email late at night and missed it, thus resulting in low rates of email feedback. Segmenting their subscribers and dividing them into different locations and time zones helped Bustedtees increase email revenue by 8%. They’ve set the timer for sending an email according to each particular time zone so that their customers could get an email at an appropriate time. Using behavioral triggered emails: when you get an email from Facebook that you haven’t got any activity or haven’t logged on to your account for a week, that’s a perfect example of a triggered email marketing. What they did is analyzing your “behavior” of not being active on Facebook for a week and notifying you about it, thus reminding you of their service. Triggered emails are a perfect example of a balanced personalization, as they appeal to a particular person but don’t overload with unnecessary, redundant information. Such emails are very effective as they result in at least 71% increase in open rates and nearly 102% increase in click-through rates. By analyzing the behavior of your customers, you get a better idea of what they need. 3. Do Use Your Personal Templates There are millions of websites with marketing email templates, but the only good purpose they serve is being an example of an effective or a not-so-effective email marketing campaigns. Besides, they don’t always work. According to Upwork’s experience, email templates work better when you need to advertise a physical product. In this case, you can use a fancy headline and graphics. Regarding replies, personally written emails work better, as in this case your customers feel your attention fully paid to each of them. To write effective personal emails that will be replied, you can use some of the following tips: Greet your customers: seems like an obvious thing, but somehow people forget about it. This is just a polite way to turn your customer’s attention to your email. Address your customers by name: one of the reasons people pay more attention to emails that have their name in it is because a name is a unique identifier of each person, and using it immediately shows respect to this person. Also, using a person’s name in an email immediately turns it into a personal conversation, thus showing that you pay your full attention to this particular person. Personally, thank each of your customers: at the end of an email, you should thank each of your customers for their attention. It might seem difficult, as you might need to send emails to hundreds of people, but it’s not. “I think all businesses dread the process of sending personalized emails, as it seems to be a very time-consuming job,” says David Jones, a marketing specialist at A-writer, “There are so many mailing programs that can be adjusted to your needs and can turn your emails into more personalized messages.” 4. Don’t Overwhelm Your Customers As it has been mentioned before, one of the reasons you don’t get replies to your emails is because people mark it as spam. A website called TechnologyAdvice conducted a survey, during which they contacted over 1300 adult from the U.S. asking why they don’t reply to marketing emails, and results are pretty definitive: Over 40% of subscribers mark emails as spam because they were emailed too often. It gets even more overwhelming when emails contain the same or similar content, which gets customers even more bored and makes them smash that “Unsubscribe” button. How can you fix it? Try to make it as brief and logically structured as possible. The average number of emails you can send to your subscribers is about 6 to 8 emails per month. But to figure it out specifically for your company, let your subscribers decide how often they want to get marketing emails from you. This will help you figure out the needs of each of your subscribers. 5. Do Work on Original Content We live in the world where it has become very hard to create original content. Plagiarism is everywhere, and plagiarism in marketing is no exception. Companies steal images to use in their marketing campaigns without even crediting their authors, and which such services as Tumblr and Instagram where people share their personal images, stealing content has become easier. The thing is that today customers can easily differentiate original content from stolen content. There’s nothing in this world that any modern customer hasn’t seen, and people are well aware of how plagiarism works. If you state that all your products and services are original, then plagiarizing something in your marketing emails will contradict everything you say and undermine your reputation. If you plagiarize because you doubt the success of your marketing emails, you’re making a huge mistake. Remember that what your business offers is a very specific thing, which needs to be advertised in its way. So if you fail one time, next time you’ll learn from your mistakes. Wrapping Up To summarize what we’ve been talking about a little bit earlier, it is necessary to point out some more don’ts you need to take into account when composing a marketing email: Avoid using Caps throughout your email. This just makes your email look messy. Avoid using too many exclamation points. Avoid using Flash or Video content in your emails. This will only make them harder to upload. Avoid attachments for the same reason as Flash and Video content. For sure, it will take time for you to figure out how to compose marketing emails to get replies, as each product or service requires a customized approach. If you follow the tips mentioned above on what to do and what not to do when it comes to composing marketing emails, you’ll increase your chances to get more replies. If you’ve already incorporated some of these tips into your practice, let us know in the comments about your own experience!
Nancy Spektor has sharpened her pencil at The Daily of the University of Washington. After graduation she decided to combine her business degree with her passion for written communication. Nancy writes about marketing strategies, content management and various other topics that she finds intriguing. If she is not composing on her laptop or notebook, you probably can find her playing with her dog Bok Choy.